José Antonio Rivera
José Antonio Rivera (left) in October 2007
|Real name||José Antonio Rivera|
|Birth date||April 7, 1973|
|Wins by KO||24|
Jose Antonio Rivera was born on April 7, 1973 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When he was 8 years old, he defined his dream to become a world champion boxer. He grew up with his four siblings and his single mother. His mother died when he was 10. From ages 10 to 15, he struggled to maintain himself, traveling from home to home. Finally, he was sent to Puerto Rico and he dropped out of school. He worked in the fields of Puerto Rico as a day laborer. One day, when Rivera was 15, his Aunt visited him; he begged her to take him back to the United States. He told her that for the first time in his life, he believed in himself. Rivera returned to the States with his Aunt, re-enrolled in school, and re-ignited his dream to become a world champion boxer.
At 16, Rivera started the pursuit of his dream. Rivera began his boxing training at the Worcester Boys & Girls Club where he was a student of Carlos Garcia, a highly regarded boxing coach. In his young amateur career he started with a record of 35-10. He did so by fighting older and more experienced boxers. As a result, he became a well experienced fighter at a young age.
October 1992 marked the date Jose became a professional boxer. From here he fought his way to becoming Massachusetts State Champion twice, the USBA Regional Champion, the IBO World Champion, and the NABA Champion.
On September 13, 2003, in Germany, Jose fought unbeaten European Champion Michel Trabant and walked away with the WBA Welterweight Championship of the World.
On April 2, 2005, in his defense of the WBA title, Jose lost a very close split decision to his challenger Luis Collazo.
On May 6, 2006, Jose would move up a weight class to Junior Middleweight and fight Champion Alejandro Garcia. He managed to knock him down five times and won to become the new WBA Champion.
On January 6, 2007, Jose defended his new WBA title against Travis Simms but lost in a ninth round TKO (Technical Knock Out).
In October he was KOd by Daniel Santos. He had announced his intention to retire before that fight, and did so.
Jose made a brief one-fight comeback in August 2008, beating Clarence Taylor in an 8-round decision, then retired again after suffering a hand injury. He plans to make a second comeback in his hometown of Worcester, Mass., on May 20, 2011, against Luis Maysonet.
Elevated to super champ
|WBA Welterweight Champion
September 13, 2003–April 2, 2005
|WBA Light Middleweight Champion
May 6, 2006–January 6, 2007